How do you feel when you enter a room outfitted with cane furniture? Does it remind you of resorts and holidays? Does it feel summery and comfortable? Perhaps both.
The good news is that cane furniture is back in full force in home décor. You can incorporate this fabulous material into your style of interior — whether retro, boho, coastal, or traditional — and add colour, texture, and interest to the space.
Though cane furniture was everywhere in the 1960s and ’70s, it went out of fashion due to the lack of variety in design and colour. In contrast to the trending colourful furniture items, cane items seemed dated and boring.
But cane furniture is reclaiming its position again due to its timeless aesthetic and stylistic flexibility. In 2021, texture and natural materials were two of the most popular themes at the forefront of design all over the world. Cane furniture ticks both of these boxes gracefully, in addition to being versatile, lightweight, low-maintenance, durable, affordable, and eco-friendly — all at the same time.
Art aficionados purchase cane-made furniture for indoor and outdoor decorations to give a touch of 'naturalness' to their settings, something especially coveted in tech-filled modern spaces.
Asif Rahman, a middle-aged banker working at a private bank in Dhaka, said Dhaka city feels suffocating with no greenery, no open space — only concrete skyscrapers.
“Living here, my mind desires natural touch every day. For me, to some extent, cane furniture with natural textures and earthy tones fulfils that desire by adding a playful and relaxed vibe to my household,” he remarked.
He also mentioned that cane furniture reminds him of his childhood spent in the village when he saw many cane-made items. “It is great to have them back in the bedroom again,” he added.
Sabrina Shelly, a homemaker and a mother of two children from Dhanmondi, Dhaka, remarked that she loves neat and clean interiors, and beautiful furniture makes her feel comfortable at home.
“Wooden furniture is already there to make my interior look good. A few pieces of cane furniture bring variation, which I like the most.”
She added, “I have a sofa made of cane in my drawing room with a bamboo-crafted table at the centre and trust me, it looks as elegant as any other expensive furniture.”
Business people working in the cane furniture sector have been taking note of this rising demand for cane items and trying to cash in on the benefits of this material. To meet the demands of modern customers, they are bringing a myriad of design and colour options apart from the regular ones.
Mohammad Hasib Tanjil, owner of Red Rose Cane Furniture & Interior at Banani in Dhaka, shared that the raw materials for cane furniture are imported predominantly from Indonesia and Vietnam since the quality of local cane is not appropriate for making premium furniture.
On being asked about the pricing of cane items, Mr Hasib pointed out, “the price of a dining table set ranges from Tk 25,000 to Tk 1.5 lakh, a sofa set from Tk 28,000 to Tk 2 lakh, a chair from Tk 3,000 to Tk 20,000, a coffee table with a chair from Tk 20,000 to Tk 50,000, and a hanging chair from Tk 5,000 to Tk 20,000.” He also mentioned that guarantee of a period as long as 10 years is offered for such products.
Apart from serving the local market, Bangladesh has the potential to bring in a large amount of foreign currency by exporting such furniture. There is great demand for products made from natural materials among foreign consumers. So government should take steps to patronise local cane businesses and expand this sector which may help diversify our export basket.
How to expertly style cane pieces in your home
Cane can be woven into virtually anything — bed, sofa, dining table, coffee table, chair, stool, cradle, almirah, wardrobe, divan, mirror, and lampshade, to name just a few. It is a material that makes a room look more pulled together and more visually intriguing than a simpler, denser material would. However, if you are confused about how to use it in your home, here are some ideas from which you can take inspiration.
Living room: In the living room setting, you can place a three-seater cane sofa with a matching side table that would suit various interior styles. Load your sofa with bright-coloured cushions to create a comfortable place to kick back and pretend you are on holiday. On top of this, add a large cane basket-weave pendant light over the dining table — which will make a statement without going overboard.
Dining room: You can experiment with such furniture in your home by placing some white cane chairs in the dining space with whatever kind of table you already have. These chairs can be exactly the finishing touch you need to elevate the look of your space to a whole new level. If you have a wooden table, it will make a striking contrast against the cane chairs and make for an exciting space visually.
Bedroom: A cane bedhead can add a lovely organic touch — synonymous with Singaporean resorts — to your bedroom. Pair your bedhead with lightweight woven bedside tables in a similar style to transform the simplest room into an inviting retreat.
Outdoor space: Cane furniture, like a hanging chair or a tea table set, will give any outdoor area a cosy and modern resort-style, holiday-inspired feel — where you can sit back and unwind.
Keep a few tips in mind to ensure your cane piece lasts for years. Number one, dust your cane furniture often to avoid grime build-up. Number two, if cleaning is required, use warm soapy water and a toothbrush, and always use a towel to dry it off. And if your favourite cane item needs some repairing, some cane furniture stores around the country can restore cane panels.
Most importantly, keep your cane furniture away from direct heat and sunlight because excessive heat and ample sunlight can cause the cane to become brittle.